© kris-la-Reunion - Fotolia.comThe Haute-Garonne department is one of the eight departments of the Midi-Pyrénées region in SW France and is home to both the bustling metropolis of Toulouse and a rural backdrop of undulating hills and valleys. It is a department of varied landscapes from lush plains to the soaring peaks of the Pyrénées and of history and great architecture including some of the towns classed amongst the most beautiful in France. Particularly sought after places to live are the pretty market towns of Aurignac, Aspet, Salies du Salat, Arbas, Montesquieu-Volvestre as well as the villages around the spectacular and historical town of St Bertrand de Comminges and the lovely spa town of Luchon with its attached ski resort, Superbagnères.

The capital of the Haute Garonne and the Midi-Pyrénées region is Toulouse and the Haute Garonne region has seen a substantial increase in property prices over the last few years led by Toulouse,one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, where property is hugely in demand. Head south and west of Toulouse however and prices begin to fall so this is a great place to look for good value beautiful properties, often with land, outbuildings and mountain viewsbut still within easy access of the city. This is an ideal region for foreign buyers with many opportunities whether you are looking to live permanently and work in many of the international businesses around Toulouse, bring up family and make the most of the excellent local and international schools, retire in a region full of lively communities or run a gîte or bed and breakfast business, everything is possible and stunning landscapes come as standard.Along with this, there is a large range of lovely character properties at affordable prices.

The average price of an old, three-bedroom stone house in the Haute Garonne is €251,500 compared to €193,000 in the Midi-Pyrenees in general – however this is skewed by the higher property prices in central Toulouse.

Types of property in the Haute Garonne:

The area close to Toulouse is desirable, and property tends to hold its value well, and has the potential for a good rental income too. There are many different types of property available here ranging from old townhouses built in the distinctive red brick of Toulousain style, through to Maison de Maîtres. Further out into the countryside, the Haute-Garonne is home to some lovely rural properties and Manoirs, either in brick or stone with many original features and to farmhouses, barns and chalets nearer to the Pyrénées.

Town houses: Town and village houses are numerous in Haute Garonne but many need renovation or at least modernisation. They tend to be large and symmetrical with grand entrance halls and stairways and large rooms, often with fireplaces.

Manor Houses and Maîsons de Maitre: usually very large, grand properties, located on the edge of towns or villages and often with land and outbuildings and lovely views. Nowadays they often have swimming pools, terraces and guest accommodation.

Farmhouses and barns: countryside properties, often with large amounts of land and built for practicality from stone, often in an L shape with, back to the north and west forming a courtyard facing the south and east. Most are very large with barns attached as well as separate barns, meaning that they are ideal candidates for conversion into either gîte or bed and breakfast accommodation.

Ski chalets and apartments: further south west from Toulouse where the Haute Garonne reaches the Pyrénées, there are numerous pretty mountain properties ranging from purpose built ski chalets and apartments to converted mountain barns, often with stunning mountain views and easy access to skiing as well as numerous pretty village and country houses.

For more information and help on finding property in Bagnères de Luchon and around the southern Midi-Pyrenees contact Nadia Jordan or visit Foothills of France.

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